It’s not often we’re able to feast our eyes on a fabled high school athlete, but teenager Ashton Broyld was born with a perpetual flow of brilliance in his championship veins.
Broyld has assembled a golden resume produced from sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts. Analyze a highlight reel from any of Rush-Henrietta’s 13 victories during Broyld’s senior campaign this autumn, and there won’t be a wonder why he’s indisputably the greatest quarterback in the history of Section 5 football.
Alphabetically and arithmetically, what could be finer than having “Broyld, Ashton” as the first name listed in the Section 5 record books? The field general holds the Cadillac of football records: His 6,161 career passing yards are the most by any who’ve played the game by 760 yards.
Broyld also passed his way into the New York state record books for having the fifth-most career passing yards, and the sixth-most career touchdown passes (69) which also ranks second all-time in Section 5 history. He holds the state playoff records with the longest touchdown run (95 yards), the second-most passing yards (300), and the third-most rushing yards (296) in Western Region history. This year, Broyld threw for a career-high 1,961 yards ranking seventh all-time. His passing total as a junior (1,386) is 26th all-time, and his yardage as a sophomore (1,769) is 11th all-time. His career-high touchdown passes (24) this fall ranks fourth all-time, and his total (19) from 2009 ranks ninth.
(Of course, this is only a partial list of Broyld’s remarkable success. Because the newspaper is only several pages long, we’ll stop now before we fill it up.)
A career .600 passer, Broyld did most of his damage for the Royal Comets, but first as a Marshall Jurist as a freshman and sophomore before finishing his four-year varsity career in Rush-Henrietta.
His crowning moment was, of course, a touchdown pass. It came when he surpassed what had seemed like an unbreakable record only two years earlier. It was the night in the Class AAA semifinals -- a 66-21 rout over Gates-Chili -- he uncorked a 58-yard touchdown pass to Devon Maio and galloped down the field in celebration past Neal Dotterer and into history.
Broyld didn’t stop there. He would toss 745 more yards over the next five weeks en route to Rush-Henrietta’s first-ever New York state championship, and Broyld was named Most Valuable Player of the game.
In his final season, No. 5 made it look like a game of two-hand touch. The 6-foot-4, 233-pound quarterback set up in the pocket and dared defenses to stop him. And he frothed at the challenge, rushing for a team-high and career-best 1,540 yards. On 162 rushing attempts for a 9.51 per-carry average, Broyld carried the pigskin to pay dirt a team-high and career-best 24 times, equaling his touchdown pass total.
Page 2 of 2 - In all, the athletic marvel accounted for 48 touchdowns and 3,501 total yards. It wasn’t until the state finals that Broyld was inserted into the defensive lineup, and he finished with three tackles, one quarterback sack, and batted down a pass. Aiding Rush-Henrietta to its first-ever state crown, Broyld helped the team to become just one of seven Section 5 squads to ever win a state title win an undefeated record.
Named twice as Section 5’s Class AAA and AA Offensive Player of the Year, Broyld certifies any assessment that he’s the greatest quarterback ever to play this game not just in statistical fashion, but because he’s a winner. Broyld is 33-7 as a starter at the varsity level, is the only quarterback to lead to different school’s to a sectional final game, and each season since his freshman debut his squad’s have advanced as far as the sectional final-four.
This was a contributing factor as to why he was selected among eight athletes that were featured on MTV2 in a docu-series entitled “The Ride: The Road To The U.S. Army All American Bowl,” the nation’s premiere high school football game. MTV2 followed eight high school quarterbacks as they competed and strived to achieve a coveted spot on the 2011 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January.
Broyld, however, did not make the cut to advance to “Top Gun,” which was the next round in the series to make the Bowl game.
“I think I [was] physically and mentally stronger than everybody in this camp,” Broyld told MTV2, eyes filled with tears. “I’m not used to losing. It’s not a good feeling. There’s no other feeling. I feel like I just lost a championship game, that’s how I feel. I’ll be alright, though. It’s not about this, it’s about how I finish. That’s how I feel. This is the beginning.”
With his better-than-John Elway-and-Johnny Unitas career passing percentage, Broyld earned Player of the Week honors five times in his high school tenure, and was named third-time all-state last fall. This year, he earned game M.V.P. honors in the sectional finals, state qualifiers, Western Regionals, and New York state finals.
It all started as a child. Broyld played football in the street. Telephone poles were used for end zones and the curbs were out of bounds. Now, he is heading down the same path has his father, Ashley Sims, who played at Maryland. His younger brother Branden Albert, an offensive tackle with the National Football League’s Kansas City Chiefs, attended Virginia. Eastern Michigan, Louisville, and Akron have all offered scholarship’s to Broyld.